Thursday, August 23, 2012


Jak came home today! 

Grandma Kerschen was here for 2 weeks!  We were so lucky to have her.  We sure appreciated all the housekeeping, laundry, chauffeuring, and Lillian support.  Unfortunately, she didn't get near the new baby time she wanted.  She flew home yesterday and missed Jak's homecoming by a day. 
Since nursing is still so much work for Jak, I pump milk for him allowing everyone a chance to feed him!

Grandma was so generous with her IPhone!  Lillian learned something new every time they played together.  On Grandma's last night, she let a naked Lillian sit on her lap after bath time.  Very risky!
Lillian giving Jak a bottle, she is surprisingly very good at it!

As if Dad's expression doesn't say it clearly enough, we couldn't be happier to have our family home safe and sound!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Finally a Family Picture

Lillian finally met her brother today!  

Lillian has endured a few too many hours in the hospital NICU waiting area.....but she finally met her brother today!  She was so sweet and gentle with him, and gave him lots of little kisses.  Nothing heals mom and baby brother faster than having the four of us together even if it was only a few minutes. 
Watching closely as Dad puts Jak back in his crib.
Lillian has made many friends in the hospital waiting area.  We tend to have visiting hours at the same time as certain families and the other Nicu siblings recognize Lillian when we come!

Jak continues to make great progress.  He is in an open crib, with no incline now.  Today we were told he is showing all the signs of  a baby that is about to make a big leap.  For him to come home he needs to take all his feedings from me or his bottles.  Today he took 3 feedings on his own and 5 from his "gravage" tube.  Tomorrow - maybe 1/2 and1/2????

Proud papa.....

The NICU staff is full of the most caring, educated, supportive people!  We can't say enough good things about them.  They are so encouraging of Jak's progress and support and encourage breastfeeding, nursing, mommy bonding and all the hand holding we parents need!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Home....Well 1/2 Way

Thanks for all the prayers, good wishes and thoughts! They sure came through! I am home - I was discharged Wednesday around 5pm and Mike and I went straight to pick up Lillian from daycare. It was sooooo good to see her and get some much needed snuggles and kisses. We didn't let her come see mommy in the hospital.   
Joseph Allan Kerschen's delivery proved to be every bit as difficult as the doctors were preparing for - and thank God they were prepared. They truly saved my life. It's hard to admit how very scary last Friday was for my family and I'm so sorry to have put them through so much! It appeared everything was fine - the docs were able to "save my uterus" and I appeared to come through just fine. Moments after wheeling my bed up to Labor & Delivery things took a dramatic turn. I lost a ton of blood (about 2 humans worth!). All in all I took 13 pints of blood, a few bags of plasma, platelets and other things I didn't know I needed! (GIVE BLOOD WHEN YOU CAN!!! PLEASE) I had a few scary conditions that I also don't fully understand - something called HELLP syndrome, DIC which could have led to liver and kidney function failure. Everyone says I am doing amazingly well. The hospital is really thrilled with my progress. I do have a wound vac (a gross little contraption suctioning out my cesarean wound to keep infection down). I have to wear it on my shoulder like a purse all day and night. It's proving to be a good little reminder to me that I'm not out of the woods and I need to take it easy. For now - I am very restricted on visitors....the risk of infection is really severe for the next few weeks. We will be laying low but hope to see all or most of you very soon. ENOUGH about me!!!!
On to Jak! Joseph Allan Kerschen was born last Friday at 10:14 AM - he was 4 pounds 5 ounces and perfect in every way! He is performing like a champ. Never needed oxygen, breathing fine on his own. He has passed his birth weight and is gaining faster than expected. His big challenge for the week has been proving he can maintain his body temp and digest his food - which he's doing much more rapidly than they expected. He is graduating from an isolette to an open crib today. If he continues to keep this up we should have him home by Monday at best. I am pumping furiously and producing milk. :) A pretty big miracle considering I lost all those good pregnancy hormones with my blood loss. I am not producing enough to feed him solely but that should come with time. The hospital lets me nurse Jak when I visit while he gets fed through a tube in his nose. He has a great little suck already and seems to enjoy nursing. Otherwise I bring in syringes of milk and they feed it to him with his feedings.
I tire pretty easily but I am stronger every day. Can't wait to get Jak home and hunker down with Mike and our two beautiful children! We are so blessed. Love to all of you! Courtney

Monday, August 6, 2012

Final Days...

We are counting down the hours until Baby Boys arrival!  We have less than a week till we meet him and Friday can't come soon enough!  Everyone is asking if we're ready here at home and Mike and I just shrug and say what's to get ready?  We've got everything we need!  We sorted out all the boy baby clothes that have been packed away since we discovered Lillian was  going to be a girl.  We've washed and dusted off all our newborn baby gear and made room in Lillian's closet for all the BLUE!  Little Joe will sleep with Mike and I his first few weeks and then we'll decide if the two kids can co-habitate or not!  Eventually, they'll have no choice unless we move.  But we may sail through winter with a bassinet in our bedroom until Lillian's old enough for a big girl bed. 
We've enjoyed watching Lillian transform from a baby into a toddler the last few months.  I'm sure come Friday she'll look even older to us, next to her baby brother for the first time!
Enjoying the indoor playground at "Monkey Business" with Daddy while Mommy works her last weekend shift for 3 months!

Playing keep away with Inzo is fun...."I can keep up with the big boys!"

But Daddy's shoes are a little TOO big!

Mommy 8 months pregnant making shower gifts for her best friend's bridal shower she's going to miss.  Amanda's shower is in a couple of weeks back east in Maryland....a little too soon to travel with baby boy!

Mike's girls with similar facial expressions....she doesn't look too much like mommy yet!